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Pia Wurtzbach impressed by Michelle Dee’s finals gown, comments on Miss Universe changes

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Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach noted that the Philippines’ preparation for Miss Universe is truly exceptional. The country has a significant advantage due to the presence of experts, including mentors and trainers dedicated to every aspect of preparation, from styling to social media strategy. 

“We have an advantage because we have experts in the country – mentors and trainers who are willing to assist with every aspect of preparation, from styling to social media strategy, something we didn’t have before. We are ready, and we consistently produce winners,” she said in an interview during the opening of the Center of Advanced Dentistry clinic’s new branch and her awarding as a National Bookstore bestselling author.

One thing she admires about Michelle Dee, the country’s bet to the pageant’s latest edition happening in El Salvador on November 18, is her clear vision. 

“Michelle knows precisely what she wants, and she conveys it in a sweet and gentle manner. She exudes a queenly aura, has a strong sense of her desired style, and is deeply committed to her advocacy. These qualities are what I appreciate in a winner,” the 34-year-old beauty queen underscored.

Pia had the chance to speak with Michelle briefly at a recent event, and Michelle gave her a sneak peek of her gown. When Pia first saw it, she was thrilled and told her, “Girl, it’s stunning.” Pia was confident that people would have the same reaction.

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She is planning to have a private moment with Michelle over the weekend and is already preparing some notes. She wanted to offer her guidance to make her experience smoother, including some minor details. Pia’s advice to her was to savor the experience, have a well-thought-out strategy, and stick to the plan. 

“I’m going to have a private moment with her this weekend, and I’m already preparing some notes – just reminders to make her experience easier, focusing on trivial things. My advice to her is to savor the experience, have a strategy, and stick to the plan. When it comes to social media, people will depend on her posts, so plan for that, but don’t read the comments,” she said with a smile.

In addition, Pia shared her thoughts on recent changes in Miss Universe, particularly the removal of age restrictions in all Miss Universe and associated pageants.

She expressed openness to the changes happening now and anticipated that these adjustments would make the pageant more inclusive. 

According to Pia, the essence of Miss Universe was being a spokesperson, an inspiration, and someone who used her platform to advance her advocacy and causes.

Pia believed that these were principles women should champion, regardless of their age, marital status, height, or any other factor. She questioned the previous exclusivity to only women and urged a reevaluation of the definition of Miss Universe. 

“These are the things that need to be championed by women regardless of their age, marital status, or height, whether they are 5’3” or 6’2”. Why was it exclusively for women before? We need to revisit our definition of Miss Universe, and for me, that title can belong to anyone, so I am not opposed to any changes,” she said.

“I think it’s even better that the age limit was lifted because it opens doors for many women. Now, our wishlist is getting longer, and we’re seeing new dynamics,” Pia related expressing excitement mentioning Christi McGarry and Alaiza Malinao as some of the beauty queens she would love to see on the pageant stage again.

Queen of the Universe

Pia officially launched her book Queen of the Universe, a novel drawn from her real-life experiences as a beauty queen and beyond, set against the rich backdrop of Manila’s glittering urban life.   

Pia’s newly-launched book ‘Queen of the Universe’ is a fictional novel inspired by her real-life experiences as a beauty queen

The book centers on a fictional character named Cleo who has to face unexpected twists and turns and endure challenges to her identity and integrity amidst the dizzying world of beauty pageants.

“Cleo is loosely based on my life story but as you go through the chapters you will see that she goes through her own journey so it’s not me. Medyo magkaiba kami ng path na pupuntahan. I’ll leave that up to you guys to discover when you read the book,” Pia said. 

Queen of the Universe is one of a handful of books by a Filipino author to launch internationally.  Aside from the Philippines, the book is now in Singapore and will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, UAE, and the UK later this year. Its e-book version will be available worldwide starting November 7. 

Queen of the Universe is published by Tuttle Publishing, one of the oldest American publishers in operation and the world’s largest publisher of books about Asia.

For this project, Pia is represented by her literary agent ABS-CBN Books, best known as the publisher of titles from bestselling authors such as Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Charo Santos-Concio, Vice Ganda, Alex Gonzaga, and Binibining Mia. Queen of the Universe is ABS-CBN Books’ first international deal.

Copy of Queen of the Universe is available at National Bookstore and Fully Booked branches in the Philippines and at Kinokuniya and Times Bookstores in Singapore. US-based readers may already pre-order a copy on and

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